By Jim Adams, Manager, Marketing & PR, Robotic Industries Association
One look and they had me. As I viewed the video and read the companion CNET News article posting, I became captivated by what I saw: Robotics and automobiles coming together…in a new way. Sure, a robot can be used to manufacture the vehicle itself, but this is more than the typical “robot manufacturers car” application. In play here, the robot “is” part of the car. It takes the recent more traditional role of automobile manufacturers and the relationship with their robots within the plant to the next level.
As a single seater, the RoboCar G, a robotic electric minicar from start up ZMP in Tokyo, does have ramifications for a whole category of vehicles. It not only redefines the “commuter car,” but opportunities and applications for the automotive industry and the industrial robotics industry as well. With next-generation, alternative-energy technology being incorporated, fuel-efficiency attractiveness and real production plans in the works, can this type of vehicle be commonplace within a relatively short timeline? Especially with further refinements and advances, could this robotic vehicle be destined for North American production, roads and a showroom near you? Ah, the possibilities!